§ Lord Diamond
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the figures of public expenditure for the current financial year at constant prices:—
- (a)as originally committed,
- (b)as calculated immediately prior to the changes now envisaged, as the likely outturn,
- (c)as calculated now to be the likely outturn; for the National Health Service, for defence, and overall.
§ Lord Cockfield
The Government's expenditure plans for 1983–84 were set out in the 1983 public expenditure White Paper (Cmnd. 8789) as follows:
£bn Defence 16.00 Health (Great Britain) 14.3 Planning total 119.6
As my right honourable friend the Chancellor said in his statement on 7th July, it had become clear by then that public expenditure was in aggregate running significantly higher than was consistent with the planning total, though, because of the inevitable uncertainties at the time of the year, no precise figure was put on the likely overrun.
The effect of the cash limit reductions and other measures announced on 7th July will be to reduce the likely public expenditure outturn by over £1 billion and is designed to bring total spending closer to the planned path. Revised cash limits, including those covering defence and the National Health Service, will be announced shortly,